Actress and Detroit native Lily Tomlin recently criticized Ford Motor Co. as “not cool” for a past decision to fund a research study that used pigs to understand how crashes can affect small children.
Tomlin asked Ford, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, to adopt “a compassionate, animal-free testing policy” — which Ford says it already has done.
“When I heard from PETA that Ford had bankrolled a Wayne State University study using pigs in crash tests, I was deflated,” Tomlin wrote in the June 27 letter released by PETA. “I thought those bleak days were in the rearview mirror, and hearing that they are recurring is like suffering backlash.”
The research Tomlin referenced is, in fact, well in the rearview mirror by now. Ford told the Detroit Free Press that the study, which was funded nearly a decade ago and published in 2018, adhered to Wayne State’s ethics protocols and the automaker’s policy to not use animals in testing except when required by law or in critical safety research with no acceptable alternative.
“We don’t presently use animal cadavers in research or intend to in the future, and will continue to lead in developing research methods that don’t rely on animal tissue of any kind,” Ford spokesman T.R. Reid said in a statement to the Free Press.
Tomlin, a Wayne State alum, previously protested the school’s use of dogs in medical research.